The internet is accessed by over 600 million people world wide, many of whom are not Christian. The internet has become the newest target for evangelism. Many churches and organizations try to reach out to web surfers searching for answers on the internet, however most have never received any form of online evangelism training. The Internet Evangelism Coalition (IEC) was established to provide online training programs as an the answer to this issue.
Sponsored by the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College the IEC was founded in 1997 to achieve to inspire strategic thinking and resource development to empower the Church for Internet Evangelism; and to encourage collaborative efforts and connect partners and resources for Internet Evangelism.
The training focuses on motivating and equipping Christians to share their faith on the Internet through email, chat rooms and personal web sites. The curriculum was designed by the IEC committee on training, chaired by Dr. Dick Wynn, and written by Dr. Wright.
"According to Luke 19:10 the Son of Man, came to seek and to save that which is lost. There is a huge and growing community of pagans, seekers and believers on the Internet. Many of those believers want to share their faith effectively," said Dr. C. Thomas Wright the former coordinator of Internet Evangelism for the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board.
Dr. Huston, said, “The training is another example of collaboration among Christian ministries to provide a strategic Internet evangelism resource for the Body of Christ." Organizations such as Gospel Communications, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Christianity Today International, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Crown Financial support the mission.
Sessions are available in two categories: Preparation for Online Evangelism (The Need for Online Evangelism, An overview of the Internet Context and Preparing to Share Jesus Online); and Presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Online Context (Online Options for Sharing Jesus and Initial Nurturing of Online Converts).
The coalition holds an annual conference to be held this year on Sept. 14-15 in Chicago. Guest speakers will include Lee Rainie of Pew Internet & American Life Project, Robby Richardson of Gospelcom.net, and several more.
Dr. Wright hopes that the coalition will lead “every online believer to more effectively and intentionally reduce the population of Hell."